Thursday 23 October 2014

Radio: Summertime and the listening is cheesy

Published 05/07/2014 | 02:30

Music is intrinsically associated with memories: songs, heard years afterwards, will bring to mind something that happened in far-off summers
Music is intrinsically associated with memories: songs, heard years afterwards, will bring to mind something that happened in far-off summers

Summer is probably the time of year we remember best. All those dreamy days at the beach or wherever; we recall them, decades later, often more keenly than recent events.

Music is intrinsically associated with memories: songs, heard years afterwards, will bring to mind something that happened in far-off summers. People talk about how songs 'soundtrack' their memories.

This brings me to Friday Night 90s (Today FM, Fri 10pm), which isn't specifically summer-related as it runs all year but is plugging directly into some well of memory in my fuzzy brain. As you will have guessed from the name – it used to be Nothing But 90s, which I thought was better – the show plays 1990s classics. For me, it's like travelling back in time to those salad days when I was young, the world was full of possibility, and everybody wore woollen caps, clumpy boots and gigantic loggers' shirts. Even in high summer.

Thankfully, and unlike the same station's Friday Night 80s – gotta work on those names, guys – this show doesn't play the same, predictable material all the time. You could practically set your watch to when the Eighties programme spools out 'Feels Like Heaven' or 'Don't You Want Me?' each week.

For instance, only recently I heard Arrested Development's 'Everyday People'. Hadn't come across that since 1993, and it made me want to root out my clumpiest boots and woolliest hat.

Presented by Eoghan Doherty and Shauna O'Reilly, the show isn't without fault. Their 'banter' (sigh) is beyond inane; sometimes it's literally at the level of "Do anything exciting this week?" "Uh ... not really."

But they're a likeable pair ... and the tunes! Those tunes. Bringing the 1990s alive in vivid technicolour – and that was my heyday, so by definition it's the greatest period in human history.

Speaking of history ... Moncrieff (Newstalk, Mon-Fri 1.30pm) had an interesting interview with Edel Bhreathnach, author of Ireland in the Medieval World. I was amazed how much of this distant age is still part of Irish culture.

They were obsessed with people's roots, for instance, with histories going off on tangents where they'd list the birthplace of everyone involved in a battle. Nowadays, that'd be a match – but the same principle applies.

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